Adriana Mehta (left) and Gabriela Grbic
and Gabriela Grbic have become accustomed to doing things together.
The fraternal twins that were born in Germany and reared in Spain and
Mexico, both studied fashion design and marketing in college and
crisscrossed the globe to be with the husbands of their dreams in
suburban Milwaukee. "Our parents pushed our individuality but
also encouraged us to work together to make a statement," Mehta
philosophy led the creative duo to capitalize one of their greatest
joint passions: making beautiful things. In 2010, they started
Canela-Canela, an edgy line of jewelry that features fashion-forward
cuffs, earrings, handbags and bracelets.
themselves are dainty, sweet and demure. But their pieces are big,
bold works of art that demand attention and promise to set any outfit
aglow. Their jewels combine soft leathers, brilliant metals and
weighty minerals to create looks that are rock star-hot.
to share our passion for the beautiful, bohemian chic pieces that we
adore," Mehta explains.
And, at every
stage of the design process, the collection never reflects just one
sisterís vision; "itís always a collaboration," Grbic
Their goal was
simply to make items that exude strength and vitality and that allow
women to "explore their wild side." These 38-year-old wives
and mothers (both have two children) accomplished that and some with
inspirational pieces that range from vibrant-colored rock bracelets
with fringe tassels to their funky chunky leather cuffs festooned with
vintage pendants, dazzling minerals, or both.
While they call
their jewelry "exotic" and "bohemian chic," it is
not pretentious. Both women say Canela pieces are perfectly suited to
be dressed up for evenings out or to romp about in sweatpants. Prices
can range from $45 for small stone bead bracelets to upward of $300
for fringed leather clutch bags.
(The two also
sell wares from their home studios in Mequon; select items are
available at the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee.)
sisters chose the name Canela-Canela, because canela means cinnamon or
lovely things in Spanish, and it represented the warmth and excitement
that captured their joint cross-cultural journey and experiences.
the buzz surrounding their creations, the Mequon fashionistas continue
to focus on inspiring their growing clientele. "I hope that when
someone gets to have a Canela piece that it reminds them how strong
they really are," Mehta says.
agrees. "If we can just make someone see their inner
strength," Grbic adds, "it will all be worth it."
Canela-Canela products online by going to etsy.com and searching for
canelashop. Home studio visits are by appointment.